Caramel: The Musings and Adventures of a Miss Charlotte Marigold And of a Dr. Carlisle Cullen
"There was something very, very strange about this Carlisle Cullen, and she was determined to figure it out by the end of the evening. It was not often that such a mystery crossed her path, and Charlotte was not about to allow Dr. Cullen to cross hers without so much as an inquiry." Dr. Carlisle Cullen has been a vampire for nearly 150 years. He's established himself as a neutral of the Volturi, a 'vegetarian' vampire, and as an unsuitable husband for any young woman of the upper British crust by 1778. But Charlotte Marigold seems to find herself fiercely attracted to him when all the other young women flee... Author's Note: Caramel is now finished! Thank you for your support, everyone!
Disclaimer: All characters from the Twilight series are not mine - they belong to the genius of Stephenie Meyer. I am merely a humble writer who lets her imaginations run away with her.
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Charlotte sat up in her bedroom completely alone, taking in the silence of a quiet evening. Her eyes scanned the pages of her favorite novel, Romeo and Juliet. There was a girly, infatuated expression on her face as she read of the kiss between two forbidden lovers, twirling the end of her plaited braid.
Her heart was loudly beating in her chest, for every time she read Romeo’s lines, Carlisle’s voice popped into her head, speaking to her in that beautifully refined voice of his, and calling from the ground…
“Charlotte,” whispered a small voice, so small that she could have sworn she imagined it. “Charlotte.”
She looked up into the window and gasped loudly, walking away from the panes and tripping over herself immediately.
“C-Carlisle?” she gulped, looking into the ghostly face by the window.
“May I come in?” he murmured.
“I…I suppose so…?” she replied, slowly opening the window. He climbed in rather quickly, as though he had been sitting in her room the entire time.
“Hello,” he greeted, bowing rather cordially.
She looked at him with raised eyebrows.
“Are you all right?”
“I suppose so…it’s just that…a man being here in my room…it’s all rather…odd…”
“I’ll leave, if you would like…” he began, about to climb out the window.
“No! No!” exclaimed Charlotte, touching his arm for a moment. “I mean…I like your presence, it’s just that…” she trailed off, furrowing her eyebrows. “It’s so late, and you’re fully dressed, and…do you not sleep?”
Carlisle gave her a small smile. “I suppose you missed the details. I told you that I do not and cannot sleep.”
“That must be awful.”
He shrugged. “It isn’t so bad, actually. I learn a lot in the night.”
“Like what?” she asked curiously.
He awkwardly looked away for a few moments. “Like what you look like when you sleep.”
She blushed. “You’ve been here before? You watch me sleep?”
Carlisle nodded and met her gaze again. “It’s…it isn’t that I…stalk you…or anything…it’s just that I…I was extremely bored a few nights ago, and I thought that I would…check in on you.”
She gasped for a moment. “The night of the ball…when I came home…I fell asleep with a book in my arms, and when I woke up, it was gone!”
Carlisle looked to the floor, and if he were human, Charlotte was sure he would be blushing. She touched his hand and smiled warmly at him.
“I like the fact that someone watches over me. You resemble that of a guardian angel.”
He sighed. “A guardian angel who is able to kill you in a split second?”
“You’re too kind for that. I know you are.”
“You trust me?”
“With my life. No pun intended.”
But Charlotte was not convinced that he believed her, and being a strong-willed young woman, wished to prove herself. She walked closer to him and slowly wrapped her arms around his neck, her heart-rate steadily beginning to speed faster and faster. She looked up into his eyes, enticed once again by the honey color they were, so close to her own eyes. His cool, steady breathing tickled the skin on her face. Before long, she closed the gap between them and met their lips.
It was a kiss that was different from any other they had shared, because Charlotte had ignited it, and she was not about to let him go any time soon. She kept him there, within her grasp, for as long as possible.
He took over once he understood what she was doing, and wrapped his arms around her waist, pulling her closer to him. But he was the one who ended the touch only a few moments later.
“What?” she breathed, panting a little.
“Two things,” he replied. “One, we were bordering on pushing my self-control too far.”
“Oh,” she whispered, still rather breathless.
He smiled. “Not that I don’t wish I could continue, but I told you I wouldn’t know where my limits would be.”
“Right. And secondly…”
“And secondly, this is very, extremely improper. We are in your bedchamber, you are in your nightclothes…”
Charlotte blushed and looked to the ground. “Well, I suppose when you put it that way…”
“Do not read me wrong, Charlotte, you look…too tempting for words. That is something that should not be this early in our relationship. And I hate that we cannot be as close as I would like…but…I…” he broke off and closed his eyes for a split second, composing his blood lust for an instant.
“Dammit!” he yelled, pounding his fist into his skull. “Why is this so difficult?” He paced around the room for a few moments. “Why can I spend days upon days in the company of the dying with open blood, but stand with you for a few minutes and threaten to kill you?” He began to mutter in very fast Latin then, hitting himself every so often.
“Carlisle?” she asked softly. “I do not wish to be a bother, but…”
He continued as though he had never heard her speak at all.
“Carlisle!” she screamed.
He stopped in shock.
She walked over to him and touched his cold hands with hers. But as she stared up into his eyes, she grew scared, for the caramel had melted into a cobalt black.
For the first time, she was truly, completely afraid of him. He pierced right through her, to her soul, which he seemed to rip apart. He was thirsty, and he was angry.
But Charlotte kept standing before him, frozen to the spot. Every part of her seemed to be completely and wholly immovable.
His cool hands touched her cheeks and lingered there, unable to budge. She continued to stare up at him, knowing for the first time that he truly held her life right there in his hands, and she was quite sure that one small twitch of his thumb in the wrong direction could annihilate her entire existence in less than a second.
But at the same time, she knew that he could never do such a thing to her, and that the icy gaze in his eyes only meant that he possessed a new kind of power over her. Strangely enough, she adored knowing that he did.
What was more, Charlotte seemed to calm him down, and that was something very strange, indeed. He had wanted, had desired, had thirsted for all of her, but at the same time he could not touch her, much less destroy her. Carlisle could not move even one muscle in his hands, and before long, he realized that he had returned to normal.
She paused, still not breathing, frozen and etched into time. At last, her lips opened to allow one small breath of sweet, clean air to enter her lungs. “What was that?” she whispered, nearly inaudibly.
Carlisle’s eyes were caramel once more. “Perhaps it would be better if you explained that to me.”
“Me? I barely know what happened, and you want me to explain that experience to you?”
“Well, I don’t know what happened, either!”
“But…b-b-but…that thing…with your eyes…”
“That thing with your eyes!” he said, smiling.
“I didn’t-,” they said together.
“Yes, you did!” protested Charlotte. “They were black. And I was scared of you. Truly, truly scared…”
“But I looked into your eyes and I saw that I could never…that I would be committing an eternal sin if I killed you because of the anger I held for myself, and I could not move…”
“No, I couldn’t move…”
They stared at each other again.
“That was bizarre,” uttered Charlotte.
“Yes, it was.”
Breaking the silence, Charlotte yawned rather loudly. Carlisle laughed, and she covered her mouth in embarrassment, color rushing to her cheeks.
“I’m so sorry! That was awfully rude of me!”
Carlisle still laughed. “If I could yawn in front of you, I would.”
She furrowed her eyebrows. “You don’t breathe?”
“I don’t need to, no. As my brain doesn’t receive oxygen, it cannot yawn.”
She sighed. “Too many things you can’t do. It’s awful.”
“Is it?” He sighed out of habit. “You’re tired, I can tell.”
“Oh, the yawn didn’t give me away?”
He rolled his eyes. “Off to bed with you.”
She pouted. “Do you promise to stay until I’m asleep?”
“And this is the woman I love…” he murmured, taunting. “Of course I’ll stay. Did you think I would leave?”
“It looked as if you were going…” she stopped. “You…you love me?”
He pulled her chin back up to his eye-level. “As long as you want me to stay, I will do my best to acquiesce your requests, however foolish they may sound.”
“I’ll always want you here,” she whispered, her emerald eyes sparkling.
He pulled her into a soft embrace and kissed her forehead. “We shall see about that.”
Charlotte climbed into bed and shed her dressing gown beneath the covers, not wishing to be completely and utterly improper. It was so strange to have a man in the room!
He laughed, his back turned to her.
“What? You haven’t got a heightened sense of vision, too?” she asked, horrified.
“I do, but not in the way you think. I heard what you were doing. Do you honestly think I would bother to look even if you took your robe off before my eyes?”
“Says the man who knocked at a ladies’ window in the middle of the night and found himself close to shaming her!” grumbled Charlotte.
Carlisle chuckled. “I respect you too much to continue that act, and you know it. May I turn around now?”
“Of course,” she replied. “I’m all covered beneath these blankets.”
“Good.” He plopped down upon the edge of her bed and kissed her hand for a brief moment. “Goodnight, fair lady. May your dreams be filled with pleasant images of-”
“You,” Charlotte replied, smiling. “I cannot even dare to dream of anything else.”
“Any news to report, Marcus?” asked Aro softly in the dead of the night.
“None that I could see here,” replied Marcus.
“Though, Aro, I think it may be prudent to check up on our other vampires,” murmured Caius, shutting an old Latin book rather smartly.
“Oh? And why is that, Caius?”
“It seems as though there are more of us than there have been before.”
“Before? You cannot mean that someone is deliberately creating newborns for the fun of it?”
“I can only guess,” said Marcus, “that Caius means we may have a problem in our midst.”
Aro sighed. “I’m too lazy to stand and figure out your meaning, Marcus. What exactly are you and Caius attempting to say?”
“There is a war raging in the American colonies, sir,” said Caius at last.
“And you believe a vampire has gone from Europe to these…colonies, do you?”
“Yes. I’m sure you heard the commotion a few days ago?”
“Commotion?” asked Aro. “I must have missed it.” His red eyes became slits. “And I don’t believe either of you. I rarely miss anything.”
“Never mind then. It was only a suspicion,” said Caius, turning back around.
“Perhaps it is a good idea if we explore the continent for more vampires, however. Check in, see how everyone is doing. I wonder if any covens have migrated or grown bigger.”
“We’ll split up?” asked Marcus.
“Somewhat. I’ll stay here. If the business shuts down for any period of time, people will start to wonder. And if, for some strange reason, another coven adopts our spot whilst we are gone, I’ll be rather unnerved to steal it back.
“So, one of you to Paris and London, the other to Moscow and Shanghai.”
“London? Is that not-“
Aro laughed. “Does a vegetarian intimidate you, Marcus?”
“Of course not!” exclaimed Marcus. “It’s just that we promised to stay away from him is all.”
“We promised him nothing. We’re…or rather, you are purely entitled to check up on him. If there is danger of newborns as you claim there is, it requires investigation.”
“But when we check up on Carlisle, what exactly are we looking for? He won’t be one to cause trouble,” replied Caius with furrowed eyebrows.
“No,” murmured Aro. “He wouldn’t cause trouble.” He paused. “But he would befriend a human.”
Caius snickered. “He’s too meek to tell anyone about our world!”
“You think so? Don’t you think Carlisle would attempt to love a human?”
“In a romantic sense?” asked Caius. “That’s ridiculous!”
“That’s Carlisle,” replied Aro rather viscously. “And if, for some reason, I am correct, and there happens to be a young woman in his world, my explicit instructions are to kill her.”
“And if he stands in the way as lovers are known to do?” inquired Marcus.
Aro paused. “Bring them to me. I would like to see and hear his philosophy on this issue and any more strange ideas he has brought to this world.”
“But if he truly loves her, he’ll protect her,” observed Marcus again.
“Of course he will. And if, for some reason, neither of you make it past him to get to her, bring them back here, and we’ll all have a little chat.”
Aro looked around after Caius and Marcus left the room. Curiously, he picked up a book from the ancient shelf that possessed all sorts of literature based on his own kind, and read quietly to himself.
Such strange creatures exist amongst us!
They stealth with us from dawn to dusk.
But there is one who is dangerous at night,
One who adores the shadows and avoids the light!
It is of course, the vampire of whom I speak!
And stranger still,
There are some vampires who are too strong-willed
To drink the blood of humans alone,
Will not keep them as tough as stone!
Instead they turn to simpler sources
So they can eat three daily courses!
They choose to live this way, you see,
To live amongst the humans and be free.
But the vampires pure at heart do not last long,
For they are over-powered by the strong.
What blood drinker was made to last
If they do not eat all humans in their path?
The King of Vampires will finish him off!
And if for some reason, he does not,
The meeker one will root to one spot!
Living amongst he shall stay,
And he shall fall in love one day.
I warn to all in simple tongues:
Watch for the vampire who lives among.
Aro looked up. He had read that poem several hundred times in the last few decades. Ever since he had met Carlisle, it seemed clear that his fat was already written.
Although he liked a challenge, up until that very moment, he was sure Carlisle had kept their world secret. But the mention of a girl would complicate things a lot. Too much, perhaps. And he knew that if Carlisle had involved this girl, others were involved, too. It was only a matter of time before the whole of London knew about their world…
Aro, an aged, millennia year old vampire, was anxious to meet this girl.